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It’s hard to take a look at the career path options of recent years and not clearly see which have had the most influence. The society we live in is in a rapidly progressing state, with a focus on technology as a means for that advancement. Because of this, it is those career choices that have shaped the world we live in and will continue to do so in the future. These influential careers can all be classified under the collective category of STEM. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, these being the subject matters that comprise STEM.
It is quite easy to see that a web professional fits into the technology sector of STEM, but is that all there is to the web profession and STEM relationship? To think that the web professional industry, including graphic design, is just a subcategory is the worst assumption anyone could make.Those that have chosen to be a part of the web industry as a profession are doing quite a lot more for STEM, and future entrants into the workforce, than is shown on the surface.
Okay you now know that STEM stands for Science,Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and that it is a collective of career fields that are shaping the future of our world. However, lets take a deeper look at STEM and why you as a web professional should be more aware of it. STEM is an American born coalition that came about as a way for these respective subject areas to better be promoted to K-12 school children, who are continuously growing disinterested annually according to the most popular majors in college.
A nation’s STEM workforce, in many ways, is a strong indicator of how well a nation can now sustain itself and how well it will fair in the global economy in the long-term. This is more so evident when looking at the top developed nations, and those that are underdeveloped. Despite this importance, STEM careers are still not gaining any popularity with the majority of youths today. The typical assumption that these fields are only for math lovers, frantic computer enthusiasts, and anyone else that was considered weird or geeky in high school.
Well, thanks to the web industry that awful assumption that clearly belongs back in the 80s is slowly changing. Web professionals are doing a great service to change how STEM is being viewed, and is a clear embodiment of what STEM is all about.
STEM at a first glance, is clearly not the first choice for someone looking for a career with some creative space. However, that is exactly what the web professional industry brings to the table. As web professionals, we use a unique combination of high level computer savvy and creativity everyday in our work life. Graphic designers, web designers, UX designers, and web developers(yes there is a creative aspect here as well), there is an assortment of career choices here that easily could entice anyone with creative ability to come and have a happy career. Of course that happy career would be minus the typical work related client stress of the typical freelancer, but I digress.
Honestly, how long is anything really current in our industry? The minute something comes out, there is already a group of people either trying to push it to new levels or trying to create the next trend. In actuality everything that we are doing now, is probably becoming an outdated practice and/or trend as you’re reading this. However, by no means is that a bad aspect to the web industry. This constant need for growth and exploration is exactly what it takes for a nation’s economy to become successful. Our industry’s need to further push itself to be better, and try things whether they turn out to be good or not, is exactly what makes it so special and why it never will go away. Instead it will grow and adapt to whatever environment the future will have in store.
The web industry is all about entrepreneurship, and being able to make a living off of your own terms and conditions. The majority of professionals in our field are either freelancers, aspiring to be freelancers once they build a good enough client base and experience, or want to start-up their own big time agency. The best part is that all this is encouraged! There really isn’t another field with as much open room for growth and self sustainability as the web industry, and that is exactly what other STEM career fields need to learn from.
The common person in a STEM related career doesn’t have a strong grasp for the importance of how important the aesthetic value in what you do. In actuality, it’s really just as important as how well you do. For an example, lets look at an accountant. Imagine bringing all your financial documents to this person and just say, “Balance this out for me.” Of course they do it, but when its done it is presented to you in an unattractive way and is quite hard to fully grasp if you are not an accountant. Now take that same job and give it to an accountant that understands aesthetic value. This accountant does a better job in presenting the information, his clients are better able to understand and enjoy it more, thus making them happy and him elbow deep in referrals.
It is quite sad, but the average person is more drawn to what looks best automatically, rather than what is possibly better than them. This is clearly shown in the more popular consumer electronics, or anything produced by Apple. As web professionals, we know all to well how important it is to make sure that your work is presented in a way that is appealing. There isn’t any way possible that a web professional could go one full day in their career without having to adhere to this. Because of this sometimes dreadful aspect, only when dealing with less than pleasant clients, web professionals are showcasing the importance of making sure what you do is presented in a way that is informative as well as appealing. In addition, we bring an importance in the appreciation of art.
Being in the web industry is a one of a kind experience. Professionals here get a taste of creative expression, innovative openness, and entrepreneurship. These are the exact qualities that are needed in a workforce to drive it to self sustainability, or maintain it. Being a web professional is a unique experience, and it is that uniqueness that is creating a completely new identity for a career group that is so vital to a nation’s future, but lacks aspects necessary to draw enough attention to itself to the masses. That lacking presence is provided by the web industry, and all the professionals that make it up. So next time someone asks you, or just assumes, the ease at which your career can be handled, you just tell them that its my career that is stimulating future growth in an industry that will make or break an economy to the young school children minds.
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Jamal is a young freelance web designer, web developer, writer, and blogger based in Atlanta, Ga. His work can be found at his online identity Five Alarm Interactive(FAI). He is a college student and philosophical poet by day, and passionate professional by night. You can keep up with him on Twitter @5alarmint.
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